Jews normally did not talk to women in public and Jews did not deal with Samaritans because of animosity. The religion of the Samaritans was similar to Judaism except that they were more liberal. They accepted the Pentateuch, observed certain Jewish feasts, and longed for the coming of the Messiah. Yet, the Jews considered foreign the Samaritans’ religion.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water while Jesus rested at Jacob’s well, and the Master addressed her: “give me to drink.” Meanwhile the disciples had gone into the city to buy food. Jews did not eat food produced or handled by Samaritans, but perhaps the disciples were influenced by Jesus’ kindly acceptance of every human being.
The woman replied to Jesus: “How is it that you, a Jew, asks a drink to me, a Samaritan woman?” Christ said: “if you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, give me to drink, you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman continued: “where will you get that living water?” The Lord pointed out that the water was the eternal salvation.
“Go, call your husband, and return,” instructed the Lord. She retorted: “I don’t have a husband!” Christ replied: “you’ve had five husbands, and the man you now are with actually is not your husband.” Then the woman said, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet”. The lady was gradually admitting that this man could possibly be the Messiah.
The Lord commented that salvation comes from the Jews, for God had been working a plan via the Hebrew nation. Christ then declared that the hour was coming when there would be true worshippers, who belong to God as His redeemed children and who worship consistent with divine revelation. Genuine worship consists of three elements: (1) the proper object of worship is the Holy Trinity (2) the worship must be in spirit and (3) must conform to divine revelation.
The inquisitive Samaritan has concluded that Jesus was a prophet, in the Samaritan mind, the Messiah. She introduces the topic directly: “I know that the Messiah, Christ, is coming; when he comes, he will declare all things to us.” This woman believed in the Messiah, a teacher, not a military conqueror, who was yet to arrive. Jesus simply said to her: “I, the very one speaking to you, am he.” The disciples returned from the city and were amazed to discover Jesus “speaking” to the woman.
The following biblical passage relates Christ’s dialogue with the Samaritan Woman:
“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Give me something to drink.’ His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew. How is it that you ask me, a Samaritan, for something to drink?’ ― Jews, of course, do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus replied to her: If you only knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me something to drink,’ you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water. ‘You have no bucket, sir,’ she answered, ‘and the well is deep: how do you get this living water? Are you a greater man than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his sons and his cattle?’ Jesus replied: Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again; but no one who drinks the water that I shall give will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will become a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life. ‘Sir,’ said the woman, ‘give me some of that water, so that I may never be thirsty or come here again to draw water.’ “
‘Go and call your husband,’ said Jesus to her, ‘and come back here.’ The woman answered, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right to say, “I have no husband”; for although you have had five, the one you now have is not your husband. You spoke the truth there.’ ‘I see you are a prophet, sir,’ said the woman. ‘Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, though you say that Jerusalem the place where one ought to worship.’ Jesus said: Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know; for salvation comes from the Jews. But the hour is coming ― indeed is already here ― when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father seeks. God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth. The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah ― that is, Christ ― is coming; and when he comes he will explain everything.’ Jesus said, ‘that is who I am, I who speak to you.’
At this point his disciples returned and were surprised to find him speaking to a woman, though none of them asked, ‘What do you want from her?’ or, ‘What are you talking to her about?’” (John 4:7-27)